There comes a time when you have to admit your limits and weaknesses and heed the call for reinforcements. That time of admission, for me, was several years ago, but I only recently got serious about calling in the reinforcements. For two years we’ve lived in one of the most international cities in America and probably the world and I am just now tapping into its resources*…after realizing typing “French tutor DC area” into Google was going to be my best bet.
I minored in French in college and overall studied the language for about seven years. The mistake I made was choosing not to do any kind of studies abroad. Why did my guidance counselor not insist that I do at least a semester, especially if she knew I wanted to minor in it? One can only truly learn a language if they are immersed in it.
I’ve been able to teach Reagan many vocabulary words and I’ve tried numerous curricula but they all seem to be lacking that je ne sais quoi (I couldn’t resist). They were either very choppy and I couldn’t make sense of what they were trying to teach or they wanted to get into teaching grammar. I think, as kids, Reagan and Ashlyn need to learn how to speak French before they start learning the ins and outs of the grammar. If they were starting in high school it would be a different story. They need to be familiar with the language before they become familiar with how the language works.
In comes my reinforcement: a French tutor! Tomorrow is our first session and we are all very excited. We’ve met her once and we all seemed to click immediately. She was great with the kids and they responded well to her. I could somewhat manage to understand what she was saying and she was patient with me. She’s mainly going to work with the kids, but my goal is that by her only speaking French, my conversational skills will greatly improve.
Tomorrow is Bastille Day. How fitting! She’s going to bring over the pâte for cookies and the cookie cutters in the shape of La Tour Eiffel. Maybe I’ll remember to take some pictures. I’ll let you know how it goes!
Bonne chance à nous!
*One of my biggest reservations about trying to find a French club or playgroup was my inability to speak conversationally. I was so worried (and still am) that I would be totally in over my head and be so nervous and the kids would feed off that nervousness and I’d be all hot and sweaty and my ears would start ringing and the Francophiles would wonder why I even bothered to show up if I couldn’t even keep up with such simple conversation like some kind of imposter. I didn’t want to be a poser. Now with our French tutor I may not have to be.